What is self care?
Self-care means taking care of yourself so that you can be healthy, you can be well, and you can do all the things you need to and want to accomplish in a day.
Self-care is the consistent recharging and protection of your batteries so you can cope with life’s challenges. Self-care also means prioritizing your own mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical health.
Self-care often gets misconstrued as something we do to reward ourselves. And although giving yourself rewards can be part of a self-care plan, self care is not a reward. Self care is something we do every day to keep ourself healthy.
Why do we need self care?
the single most common reason people give for not participating in self-care is due to the pressures that are put on us. The pressure to preform at work, school, with family and friends can get overwhelming. Financial and social obligations have increased over the years and we have more to do than previous generations. These pressures often result in not prioritizing self
Self-care for when time are really tough
There are times when we haven’t been able to prioritize self-care and we become burnt out and struggle to manage our day-to-day routines. Those with chronic physical or mental health illnesses will often not have enough energy in a day to be able to practice routine daily self-care. Even with chronic conditions there will be times in life when we just don’t have enough to practice daily self-care. The death of a loved one, job loss, relationship break downs are just a few of the situations that may cause use struggles with daily self care.
Creating a self care kit for the toughest of times
It is almost guaranteed we are going to hit tough times at multiple points in our lives. Preparing for those times when we are energetic and in a good mind is a good way to care for a future version of us. Creating a tough times self-care kit is also a good way to practice self-acceptance, and to accept that sometimes it is okay to not be okay.
Items to put in your tough times self care kit
Dental floss picks and a new toothbrush. When we are feeling down some of our basic hygiene gets neglected. Making hygiene easy with some floss picks can help. And opening a new toothbrush when we need self-care can go a long way.
A medication organizer. I cannot stress enough how important it is to continue to take your meds. When we are struggling it might be difficult to remember to take our meds, so using a pill organizer in a visible place can help with this.
Sugar free water enhancer flavor drops. It can be easy to neglect out water intake. Throwing a little flavor in your water might make drinking water more enjoyable. Pro tip: stay away from electrolyte beverages unless medically recommended. They are full of sugar which might make you feel worse.
Bagged salad and rotisserie chicken. It's important to eat healthy. This is an easy and healthy meal alternative. It's not something you can keep in a kit, but it is something you can grab when you don’t have the energy for cooking.
Phone numbers for your therapist, doctor, and help lines. Also, if you have some supportive friends, their phone numbers should be included. I recommend having these written down. Now a days we have all these numbers in our phone, but when we are feeling down sometimes the visual reminder helps us reminder to reach out.
Tweezers and a nail file and trimmers.
A small task such as tweezing hairs you find unsightly or trimming your nails can help you feel a small sense of productivity, when you are struggling to get things done. Low energy hygienic activities can go a long way when you are not feeling your best.
A shower chair. When you are struggling it can be exhausting to even shower. Not showering, can lead to shame about struggling, and not feeling clean can make the low times last longer. You might not have the energy to stand in the shower and clean your entire body, but you might be able to sit in the shower and let the water run over body. You don’t need a specialized shower chair, a folding chair that won’t be damaged by the water and fits in the shower is all you need. And if you don't have a shower chair, it is okay to sit on the floor of the shower. Give yourself permission to use accommodations when you need it.
Self-compassion. This is one of the most important things you can have when you are really struggling with your own self care. You can’t keep self-compassion in a kit because self-compassion comes from within. However, you
include items in your self care kit that will cue you to remember to practice self-compassion. You might use a book about self-compassion, pre-written self-compassion affirmations or there may be a small item like a rock or a bracelet that reminds you to be compassionate to yourself.
Self-care means taking care of yourself so you can be healthy and well. Sometimes that does mean bubble baths and candles, and a lot of the time it means doing the less glamorous basic care activities.
If you are struggling with stress, anxiety, depression, burnout, compassion fatigue, or symptoms due to trauma, let us help you navigate those struggles. Here at Aligned Minds Counseling and Therapy, we believe that you deserve to be happy. You deserve therapy!